Ajay Piramal-owned Piramal Healthcare (PHL) has acquired worldwide rights to the molecular imaging research and development portfolio of Bayer Pharma for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition,which the company said was part of its string of pearls strategy to build a stronger portfolio under its drug discovery programme,will be done through Piramal Imaging,a newly created arm of PHL. Molecular imaging is a non-invasive way to understand functions of living organisms in the body.
The new subsidiary will give focus to our activities in molecular imaging,which we think has a promising future, said Piramal. We will fund the buy through internal accruals.
Last May,PHL had sold its core domestic formulations business to US-based Abbott Laboratories for $3.8 billion (around Rs 16,500 crore). At the time,Piramal had said this money would be channeled into businesses that provide high returns,and that in India,opportunities were everywhere. Since then,the company has also made two opportunistic investments in mobile telephony company Vodafone India,and now holds 11 per cent in the latter.
PHL had come under pressure from investors following the Abbott deal,but in an interview to Financial Express in October last year,Piramal justified the deal,saying My job as a trustee for shareholders is to ensure we get maximum returns.
On Monday,PHL shares closed 1.45% down on the BSE at Rs 443.80.
This is another step forward for the company in basic research, said Sarabjit Kaur Nangra,vice president (research) at Angel Broking,a domestic broker. PHL has been making investments in technology and in areas outside formulations,since they cannot enter that segment due to the non-compete clause with Abbott, she added.